A tender, baked potato with crisp, salty skin is the perfect vessel for a wide range of toppings, including a simple smear of butter. But if the potato is not cooked through or the skin is soft, your signature side dish can easily fall flat. Cooking a potato in the oven is easy to do and will give you great results every time, so learn how to bake a potato now!
1) Preheat an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is heating, wash and dry one, large Idaho potato and transfer to a plate.
2) Use a fork to poke holes all around the potato. This will allow hot steam to escape and will help the skin to crisp up.
3) Now that the potato has been pierced, rub the entire potato with canola or vegetable oil and sprinkle generously with kosher salt. This will not only help with cooking but will also season the potato.
4) Place the seasoned potato directly on the oven rack and place a baking sheet underneath to catch any drippings. Bake until the skin is crisp and the potato is tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 50 minutes.
5) To eat, carefully cut a slit along the top of the potato (hot steam will escape). Squeeze the ends to open the slit and to expose the creamy center. Garnish with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Cook’s Note: This “How To” is for one Idaho potato. Cooking times may vary depending on the type, size and quantity of potatoes used.